Cell Phones can spoil your family relationships

Dr Mansoor Ahmad Qazi
Cell Phones are an invaluable technology that has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and get information. But as with anything good, too much of it can lead to problems. As per the research, various drawbacks arise due to the overusing of cell phones and other mobile devices. The fact is that all this recent communication technology is actually pulling us farther apart and negatively affecting our interpersonal relationships. Phubbing or phone snubbing is unfortunately on the rise among the young generation. Phubbing is mainly distinct as looking at a cell phone rather than interacting with the person you are with, and research shows that it can hurt your relationship with your friends, relatives, colleagues, and may also harm your attachment with your kids.
Overusing cell phones and cell phone addiction are the habitual companions to phubbing. They are increasingly becoming problems for more and more people. Being constantly attached to our cell phones is taking a toll, not just on our relationships but on our mental and emotional well-being, affecting our overall health. For instance, cell phone use while driving has become a growing danger: Chating online and cell phone use have been shown to dramatically increase the chances of motor vehicle accidents leading to injury and even death. Problem occurs when you check your messages and emails every few minutes or several times an hour, and all these “just gonna check my messages” moments add up to a large amount of time spent on the phone. Before you know it or realize it, you might be using a good chunk of the time you’re supposed to be spending with your parents, partner or children focusing on your phone instead of on your family.
When you are with someone and he is constantly checking, scrolling, texting, or engaged with the cell phone in his hand, it can feel like you are not really fully with that person. When you have a conversation, it sends a clear message that you are playing second hoax. Not only is this behavior rude, but it can damage the eminence of that relationship.
Phubbing makes us feel bad, but even worse; it leads to unhappiness and even loneliness in our surrounding atmosphere. It’s an uncomfortable feeling when behavior is not conventional. When someone is in a room with us and is on the phone, we feel like we are in an unsafe situation on a primitive level or we feel that we are in the wrong place wasting our valuable time.
The Impact of Phubbing
Possible impacts of overusing your cellphone around your family are as under:
It Takes Away From Other Things
We have enough things that interfere with our family time-busy work schedules, homework, extracurricular activities, gardening, gasping, playing together and many more. Research shows that many people often lose track of time when they’re on their cell phones (understandable considering how many things we can do on these devices, from checking news and sports scores to seeing what friends are posting on social media sites, not to mention getting email and texts). When you spend time on the phone, you have that much less time to spend fully engaging and giving your attention to your parents, spouse and kids.
It Is Addictive
Research shows that smartphones are powerful mind- and mood-altering devices that can be as addictive as gambling. While a smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with work, school, and relationships. When you spend more time on social media or playing games than you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking texts, emails, or apps-even when it has negative consequences in your life-it may be time to reassess your technology use. Smartphone addiction, sometimes colloquially known as “nomophobia” (fear of being without a mobile phone), is often fueled by an Internet overuse problem or Internet addiction disorder. After all, it’s rarely the phone or tablet itself that creates the pressure, but rather the games, apps, and online worlds it connects us to.
Smartphone addiction can cover up a variety of impulse-control problems, including:
Virtual relationships. Addiction to social networking, dating apps, texting, and messaging can extend to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships. We’ve all seen the couples sitting together in a restaurant ignoring each other and engaging with their smartphones instead. Friends sitting together but faces are seen towards their mobile phones and are engaged in such a way that they don’t bother about each other. While the Internet can be a great place to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, or even start romantic relationships, online relationships are not a healthy substitute for real-life interactions. Online friendships can be appealing as they tend to exist in a bubble, not subject to the same demands or stresses as messy, real-world relationships. Several cases of cheating arises because of chatting with online friends. Compulsive use of dating apps can change your focus to short-term hookups instead of developing long-term relationships.
Information overload. Compulsive web surfing, watching videos, playing games, or checking news feeds, short stories, live videos, porns can lead to lower productivity at work or school and isolate you for hours at a time. Compulsive use of the Internet and smartphone apps can grounds you to neglect other aspects of your life, from real-world relationships to hobbies and social pursuits.
Cybersex addiction. Compulsive use of Internet pornography, nude-swapping, or adult messaging services can impact negatively on your real-life intimate relationships and overall emotional health. While online pornography and cybersex addictions are types of sexual addiction, the Internet makes it more accessible, relatively anonymous, and very convenient. Whenever an individual once open these sites, the site owners automatically send several such type of videos and pictures. It’s easy to spend hours engaging in fantasies impossible in real life. Excessive use of dating apps that facilitate casual sex can make it more difficult to develop long-term intimate relationships or damage an existing relationship.
Online compulsions, such as gaming, gambling, stock trading, online shopping, or bidding on auction sites like eBay can often lead to financial and job-related problems. While gambling addiction has been a well-documented problem for years, the availability of Internet gambling has made gambling far more accessible. Compulsive stock trading or online shopping can be just as financially and socially damaging. eBay addicts may wake up at strange hours in order to be online for the last remaining minutes of an auction. You may purchase things you don’t need and can’t afford just to experience the excitement of placing the winning bid.
It’s infectious
When people are phubbed, they tend to pull out their own phones in response. It’s cellularitis-a socially transmitted disease. When other people use their cell phones, we do it too in self-defense. It is very dangerous sign in communication gap.
Conclusion: Cell phones have brought on a whole new age of technology and make life more convenient in terms of communication, education and many other fields. However the side effects of these cell phones cause many dangerous and unhealthy situations. Excessive use of cell phones cause brain damage, car accidents, distractions to schools, mental health problems and are real threats for the environment. Parents, teachers and NGO’s can actively play part in controlling the misuse of cell phones, because they do more harm than good.
(The author is Manager (Geology)/Geoscientist Kwar Hydroelectric Power Project Kishtwar Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited)